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The right division

President Bush's opponents call him the most divisive president in history. That exaggeration itself is hardly unifying, but let us admit that by nominating John Roberts for the Supreme Court, President Bush emphasizes division ' namely, the division of powers that has done so much to keep America unified for over two centuries.

The Roberts nomination also clarifies an important division in our society. Liberals generally take the position that the Constitution is a document that must constantly be reinterpreted by the justices as times change. Conservatives generally take the position that from time to time the Constitution might need to be changed, but that is the business of Congress and the American public.

Thus, our conservative president has nominated a man who believes judges should stick to what the Constitution and its amendments say and leave it to legislators and the public to make new law.

This is not a fight about John Roberts. It is a debate about whether we shall continue to have a system of checks and balances on government power by keeping those powers divided. ' Nancy McAllister, Medford

Support personal accounts

I am 35 years old and I have four children and I support voluntary personal retirement accounts as part of Social Security. I am currently paying money into a system that will not meet its promises to me, and I shudder to think what the system will be like for my children.

Personal accounts provide me with a choice on whether I would like to invest a part of my taxes or whether I would rather remain in the system as it currently is. Personal accounts provide greater options and allow for people to take ownership of their benefits.

— I would like the opportunity to grow a nest egg for retirement that I own and leave to my kids. On behalf of myself and my children, I urge readers to contact our senators and ask them to support voluntary personal retirement accounts. ' Shawn Narlock, Medford

Disgusted yet again

After reading the article in the Mail Tribune about the House putting limits on civil unions, I am yet again disgusted by the attitudes of Karen Minnis and Dennis Richardson. They have rigid mindsets and are unwilling to work in a bipartisan way toward fair and equitable solutions.

They say that anti-discrimination and civil unions are issues that should not be forced on society. What kinds of things would they consider good to foster within this society? Karen Minnis was afraid of a full floor debate so she hid the bill by referring it to the Budget Committee, which will keep it from being discussed on the House floor.

I don't really understand the rules of assigning a bill to a different committee, but it doesn't bode well for equal rights for all people. Please call your representative and ask for a full floor debate on a law that is fair. ' Jack Shipley, Grants Pass

Consider your livelihood

Forget your political persuasion for a while and consider your livelihood if you're a wage-earner. Certain issues before Congress could negatively affect your financial well-being if passed.

One being considered immediately is the erroneously labeled death tax. Only the rich will benefit from dropping this tax because the first million you leave your heirs is already exempt. This bill is in the hopper right now.

The next consideration is to drop the tax on capital gains. Now if you're among the very rich, this could be a considerable part of your income, while it is minimal for the average wage-earner.

After the tax on capital gains is dropped the next tax item to get the ax would be dividends on investments. How much of your total income is made up of investment dividends? If taxes on dividends are dropped, someone will have to make it up. Guess who?

When/if these taxes are discontinued, only the wage-earners will be paying their fair share. They will shoulder the burden of necessary government expenses.

If you have any interest in these issues, now is a good time to let your elected congressional representatives know your feelings. ' Dick and Beth Mould, Medford

Stop the sex shops

I thought I would write a letter to you and talk about an issue of great importance. This issue has been bothering me for a long time. You see, ever since I was little, I have gone to the same church, and every single time I go I have to go past the Adult Shop. If you are not sure what that is, it is a sex shop where they sell pornography and other sexual items.

These shops are everywhere. You can't go to one town or city without seeing at least one of these shops. These stores are a growing problem and need to be stopped.

When I was little, my big sister wrote a letter to you guys and nothing happened, so I'm trying. ' Ryan Sonday, 12, Central Point

Official language

In response to Ian Foster's letter, when he says, It is important to realize and understand that English is not the official language of the United States, I reply that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States, the two major documents of our laws, were written by the founders of this country in English.

They wrote them in a language that the majority of people could understand. At that time, the majority of people wrote and conversed in English; therefore, English was the official language.

If at any time in the future the majority of the people in the United States write and speak another language, then that would be the official language; not before. ' Don Cramer, Medford

The boss votes

John Wilkinson's letter of July 23 speaks of the Bush economy and seems to blame the people who voted Republican instead of Democratic. I believe the problem rests not with the people who voted, but with the people who did not vote.

In the 2000 election, only 51.2 percent of the eligible voters actually voted. You can bet that the vast majority of the 48.8 percent of those did not vote were the people who would benefit the most from a good union contract: the hourly wage-earner.

I assure you, the boss does vote. ' Walter Petitt, Eagle Point

Thanks, Molly

Perhaps Ms. Ashpole has been living in a cave for the past five years. All Molly Ivins tries to do with some consistency is to tell all of just what Dubya and his motley crew continues to do to America. For this she is crude and profane?

To expose Dub as one of the worst presidents we have ever had deserves our applause. Thank you, Molly. ' Bob Johnson, Medford

Absolute end

I must disagree with Ragan Cavanaugh (July 27) who excuses or at least justifies the murders by Islamist suicide killers. They represent absolute evil reminiscent of Adolph Hitler in my opinion.

They are not, as she suggests, Muslims, fighting against a criminal crusade '; they are inspired to murder under an insane interpretation of their religion. They are deliberately murdering thousands of their own people in Iraq.

They don't discriminate. They murder innocent men, women and children with equal glee, in the process of doing Allah's will. ' Maynard Telpner, Ashland

Thanks for flowers

It is with many thanks that I write this special letter about these three gentlemen ' Don Dunn, Corey Qualls and Mark Brendle ' who took it upon themselves to plant flowers around the Robert J. Pfaff Memorial Rock in the park in Central Point before the Fourth of July.

They do such a super job in keeping the park clean and the lawn mowed!

My grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren always have to go and see grandpa's rock and enjoy the basketball court, which is the reason for the rock.

Thanks again Don, Corey and Mark from all the Pfaff family. ' Libby K. Pfaff, Central Point

Scare tactics

The attacks on Judge John Roberts as he heads for the Supreme Court are the worst kind of scare tactics, full of innuendo and misleading information.

Finding little to criticize in his legal work, liberals are looking for a tie to the vast right-wing conspiracy. For instance we are told that he belonged to the Federalist Society, now portrayed as a group of right-wing lawyers with a secret membership list.

Does the ACLU or MoveOn.org publish their membership lists? Judge Roberts was listed as a member of the Federalist Society in 1997-'98 and it should count as a point in his favor. The society is a 35,000-member group including many respected lawyers and judges who want to improve the quality of legal education and the profession.

Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU, says, It has been my pleasure to speak at many Federalist Society gatherings around the country, and I think one thing your organization has definitely done is to contribute to free speech, free debate, and most importantly public understanding of, awareness of, and appreciation of the Constitution.

The Federalist Society is one more reason Roberts should be on the Supreme Court. ' Mindy Gilmore, Medford

Shane stood out

This June was the second year I had the privilege of judging senior projects at South Medford High School. I have been extremely impressed each year with the quality, energy and dedication of the seniors and their projects.

This year I was lucky to judge a group of students that included Shane Holiday. While all the students did an excellent job, Shane stood out from the rest; he exuded a maturity and confidence that he earned through many hours of sacrifice and sweat.

So I wasn't surprised to see that he has won another contest. He's got what it takes and I expect to see more of this news about him.

He and the other seniors like him are our hope for the future and just knowing that they are out there accomplishing their goals and making the world a better place lightens my heart. This is tax money well spent, and combined with Shane's efforts, it produces winners.

I look forward with anticipation to judging next year's batch of seniors and want to congratulate Shane on his determination and dedication. ' Catherine Sullivan, Medford

Thanks for the fun

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Medford Parks Department and to the many volunteers who provided low-income families like mine with opportunities for our children to stay active and social. A special thank you to Jr. Giants T-ball, and HI YAH Tae Kwon Do. The people in these programs really helped to bring out the best in my children.

The Mac Pac was also awesome (although Union Park has some scary debris around), and the track meets were great as well. Thank you all for a fun-filled and active summer. ' Kathy Greager, Medford

Reinvent minds, hearts

Renovating or upgrading your automobile is out of order when you are not sure where you are going and you are unclear or deluded about where you have been. The Thursday, July 28, news article in the MT by John Lumpkin, Associate Press, regarding the re-inventing of the Army is a case in point.

The Army could really benefit from reinvention. However, the Army did not get us into Afghanistan or Iraq. Where we need reinvention is in the minds and hearts of our administration, our Congress and those bureaucrats who manage our governmental offices.

Usually the last person that needs changing is the first person who gets changed. ' Sam Campbell, Talent

Bush does the right thing

By nominating John Roberts for the Supreme Court President Bush has once again done the right thing instead of the expected or the fashionable thing.

Many Republicans and Democrats expected a woman. Lots of Democrats suddenly declared themselves in favor of a moderate nominee, meaning someone whose judicial philosophy was fuzzy enough he or she might sometimes be persuaded to set aside the Constitution in favor of taking a liberal political position.

Both parties praised President Bush for long and extensive consultation with 70 members of the Senate. Then the president chose Judge John Roberts, who had been confirmed to the Circuit Court by unanimous vote. He immediately drew support from former Clinton administration officials, members of Congress and high profile Democratic and Republican lawyers.

Why then did Roberts instantly become the villain for many liberal groups?

Perhaps because if Bush likes him, there must be something wrong with him. That's called guilt by association, and it doesn't stand up in court.

Besides, the only thing Bush is guilty of is choosing a man who, like himself, will stand by his principles and take responsibility for making up his own mind. ' Danna Gustafson, Ashland

Supporting our troops?

No matter which side of the issue you may be on concerning George Bush's war, I think we all want our troops to come home as soon as possible. So why is it that everywhere I look I see people leave their cars, trucks and SUVs running while they dash in for coffee, DVDs, or whatever?

I see people leaving their cars running for 20 to 30 minutes while they chat at someone's door. It's especially galling when they have one of those yellow ribbon magnets on the back.

Is this ostentatious consumption of wealth and fuel? A thumb at the nose for clean air? Or just I don't give a damn? I'm betting on number three. ' Kim Cower, Talent

Are they insecure?

I have read many letters lately blaming the Mail Tribune for misconstruing a conservative letter writer's letters. Could it be that these people are reacting because their positions are weak enough that they cannot stand up to a debate?

For instance, are they really so insecure that they cannot allow for fliers to be printed in another language? Is it so disturbing that not everyone shares the same religious beliefs and believes in evolution? Is it so un-American that people use their rights as Americans to disagree with the actions and motives of the government?

The part that is disturbing to me is that they accuse a paper, the one that prints their letters, of bias just because the paper will print the opposing view. That is pathetic. ' Piero DiCero, Medford

Bombs dropped for a reason

Regarding the article, Vigil to Commemorate World War II Bombings, as anyone well knows, there would never have been bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki had there been no unprovoked, sneaky, unrelentless bombings of Pearl Harbor on Dec 7! ' Mary Engelson, Medford

An unanswered question

Thank you very much for the extensive article you ran July 24 on the Feb. 11 car crash on Riverside. I waited several days for reaction and what I have been looking for has not surfaced.

Did anyone else notice that Ian had both pot and cocaine in his system and no one seems to be interested in where these things came from? They make a big deal about the alcohol, which in a few years will be legal. But the stuff that never will be legal to have seems to have been ignored. Perhaps that is another question the kids at the Orf party can refuse to answer? ' Kathy Vanderpool, Central Point